As anyone who’s seen Ocean’s 12 can tell you, nothing’s easy when it comes to Steven Soderbergh. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that his possible return to feature film directing, following a brief, self-imposed “retirement,” is already a shit-show of gossipy whispers and refuted rumors.
It started last night, when Variety ran a Drudge-siren EXCLUSIVE that Soderbergh’s retirement – following the release of his thriller Side Effects in February of 2013, though he’s spent those three years directing the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra and two seasons of The Knick, shooting and editing Gregory Jacobs’ sequel to Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, and producing films and television series – would come to an end with something called Hillbilly Heist, starring his frequent collaborators Matt Damon and Channing Tatum. Within fifteen minutes of the Variety story going live, Soderbergh tweeted (and here’s where we note for the uninitiated that this Oscar-winning director’s Twitter handle is, hilariously enough, “Bitchuation”) his denial:
Within the hour, Deadline had their own version of the story: that Soderbergh was indeed ending his retirement, but the film in question was titled Logan Lucky instead of Hillbilly Heist (thank God), and while Tatum was part of the package, Damon was not; Magic Mike’s co-star, per Deadline, will be Michael Shannon. Variety subsequently updated their story to reflect these corrections; The Hollywood Reporter confirmed, though their own sources, Tatum’s involvement (but not Shannon’s), while carefully noting, “It is also unclear whether Soderbergh intends to direct or produce the movie.”
So, who knows? Soderbergh hasn’t directly contradicted the corrected versions of the story, but ran out the evening with jabs at entertainment press:
Anyway, until we know more, let’s all just go watch Out of Sight and Schizopolis and The Limey a few more times.